Leave the World Behind marks the first time Bacon and Hawke have actually worked alongside each other and – hopefully – debunks the theorists. Director Sam Esmail recently told Forbes, “I didn’t realise this, but there’s this sort of conspiracy theory out there that Ethan and Kevin were the same person,” he laughed. “I’m happy to dispel that myth and actually show them in the same shot.”
Produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, the pulse-pounding thriller is based on Rumaan Alam’s 2020 National Book Award finalist of the same name.
The story goes something like this: Amanda (Julia Roberts) takes her family on an unplanned holiday for a long weekend in Long Island renting an Airbnb for some R&R. The peace is short-lived when GH Scott (Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la), arrive in the middle of the night, claiming to be the owners of the house and asking to sleep there due to a blackout in New York. What follows is a series of disturbing events which sees the world head for an apocalypse.
Thinking it might be one to add to your not-so-festive TV line-up? Here’s everything you need to know about Leave the World Behind.
What is Leave the World Behind about?
According to Netflix, the plot to this apocalyptic thriller is as follows:
“A family vacation on Long Island is interrupted by two strangers bearing news of a mysterious blackout. As the threat grows more imminent, both families must decide how best to survive the potential crisis, all while grappling with their own place in this collapsing world.”
Is Leave the World Behind based on a book?
Based on Rumaan Alam’s bestselling, award-winning 2020 novel of the same name, Leave the World Behind’s director Esmail said in a statement: “I read it in one sitting and then reread it a few hours later — the first time as a fan and the second time imagining it as a movie.” He added: “What Rumaan did so well with this story is that he kept it centred on these characters and the journey they’re all on, and I found a way to expand upon my obsessions while translating it into a cinematic experience: What if technology was the driver behind this collapse?”
Who is in the cast of Leave the World Behind?
The film stars Julia Roberts (Amanda Sandford), Ethan Hawke (Clay Sandford) Kevin Bacon (Danny), Mahershala Ali (G.H. Scott), Myha’la (Ruth Scott), Farrah Mackenzie (Rose Sandford) and Charlie Evans (Archie Sandford). The Netflix drama is written and directed by Sam Esmail, who previously worked with Julia Roberts on Prime Video’s equally spine-chilling drama Homecoming. Julia actually also serves as a producer on the film, along with executive producers in former US president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, under their production company, Higher Ground Productions.